App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
It can be lonely up here, soaring among the clouds. No sound save the woosh of the wind and the occasional flutter of paper. Watching mountains make way for cities, which in turn make way for more mountains. Of course when it's on an iPhone it feels like a decidedly less solitary experience. What with the likelihood of other people being around and whatnot.
The basics of Paper Baron are also the complexities. Players must guide a paper airplane as far as they can, dodging obstacles, and picking up boosts along the way. Tapping the left portion of the screen will angle the folded flyer up, and tapping the right will point it down. Swipe to boost, and generally try not to crash into anything. Simple, really.
The simplicity, coupled with the nifty paper aesthetics (even the sounds!), make Paper Baron a very easy game to get into. Similarly, it's quite easy to get wrapped up in that "Just one more" loop. But what really makes it curiously entertaining is the inclusion of location-based airfields. Anyone can use their iOS device's GPS to create their own airfield which other wannabe barons can attempt to take control of, and taking control of an airfield is as easy as flying farther than the current leader.
I can't think of many criticisms to throw Paper Baron's way. I suppose the lack of music makes things feel a tad empty. It's also a shame that the "official" airfields on offer so far are exclusively in Australia, so there's no way for someone living in another country to even attempt to unseat the current baron unless they take one heck of a vacation.
Even without the GPS usage, Paper Baron is still a fun if simple way to pass the time. It can be played in long intervals or short bursts, and the ability to overthrow a friend could most likely create some pretty intense rivalries. Assuming enough people are willing to give this fun little free-to-play a chance.